A star of the southern constellation Argo.
(AK-74: dp. 4,023; l. 441'6"; b. 56'11"; dr. 28'4"; s. 12 k.; cpl. 198; a. 1 5", 1 3"; cl. Crater)
Carina (AK-74) was launched 6 November 1942 by Permanente Metals Corp., Yard No. 1, Richmond, Calif., as David Davis; sponsored by Mrs. A. R. Olds; transferred to the Navy 20 November 1942; and commissioned 1 December 1942, Lieutenant Commander J. I. MacPherson, USNR, in command.
Carina stood out of San Francisco 14 December 1942 laden with cargo for Espiritu Santo and Guadalcanal. Here she discharged cargo between 23 January 1943 and 4 February, bringing invaluable support to the last phases of the bitter campaign for that island. Operating to aid in the consolidation of the southern Solomons, she sailed between Espiritu Santo and Purvis Bay, Tagoma Point, and Tongatabu. On 3 March, while unloading in Tulagi Harbor, she underwent two air attacks. Several near misses were scored, spraying the ship with shrapnel and wounding six of her crew.
Repaired at Espiritu Santo, Carina resumed her cargo runs until 30 May 1943, when she arrived in Australia for engine repairs and to replenish at Townsville, Sydney, and Melbourne. She carried cargo for Marine units training in New Zealand to Auckland in August, then returned to her supply runs in the South Pacific. Adding Fiji, the Russells, Florida, New Guinea, and the Admiralties to her itinerary, she continued to base at Espiritu Santo until 12 July, when she sailed for San Francisco.
A stateside overhaul prepared Carina for duty in distant support of the Philippines operation, in which she carried pontoons from Pearl Harbor to Ulithi between 2 October 1944 and 31 December. Returning to San Francisco for further repairs and alterations, she got underway for the action areas again on 9 March 1945. She arrived in the action waters off Okinawa 26 April, and on 4 May fell victim to a Japanese suicide boat. The ramming produced a violent explosion on her port side, knocking out one of her boilers, and flooding one hold. Six of Carina's crew were injured. Skillful damage control saved both Carina and her cargo, and she was able to complete unloading before clearing for repairs at Ulithi. She returned to the United States for overhaul in July, and on 16 October 1945 was decommissioned at Suisun Bay, Calif., and delivered to the War Shipping Administration.
Carina received three battle stars for World War II service.